This is my final thanks I'm writing to the community. This will be No. 4 of my thank-you letters to everyone who's put in a lot of work and effort into helping me all these years.
Since my surgery on Oct. 25, 2010, I've lost more than 260 pounds, and it just keeps falling off. It's almost like the TV advertisement where the guy is jogging and his neighbor knocks on his door telling him that he found his butt on his front lawn and asked him if he wanted it back, and he tells him no. LOL. Now maybe my butt hasn't fallen off, but the day I showed my girlfriend Vanessa how big my jeans were when I was adjusting my belt, I thought she was going to fall off the couch. They're so big on me, as soon as I undo the belt, boom, they're on the floor, where last year, when I put them on the first time, they were snug around my waist.
Now, readers, if this is your first time reading this, then you don't know about my last three letters. My last one, I told everyone how much I weighed, and that was 760 pounds last summer. And I just weighed in at 494 pounds. My doctors and family told me, "A.J. your life is going to change dramatically within the first year of surgery," and boy, did it. I did not think it would. I knew I was going to lose weight, and, well, I've lost so much.
Now one thing I want to do with my story is I want to reach out to people sharing my story, letting them know that there is still hope out there and to never give up, be it that you're a person like myself who is struggling to lose weight. Last year I came to terms with myself that this was it and this is how it's going to be. There is nothing that can help me. Then one day I got a call from my case worker, Jessie Benway, asking me if I was still interested in having the gastric bypass surgery done. I told her yes. She informed me that there was a doctor in New York City who wanted to see me. So we set it up and went down to see him. That day he scheduled me for surgery a month later. I couldn't believe it. Was my life really going to get a second chance? Is this for real? And, well, it was. So it's obvious I had it done.
Yeah, complications arose after the surgery, and I went into respiratory failure and was put in to a medically induced coma for over a month to control my breathing. About a month later or so, I started coming to, and from what I was told, they brought me out too fast and I ended up having a tracheotomy done. And I was delusional on the medications they had me on for pain, and that was Dilaudid, which was a really strong pain medication. And when I came to, I ended up grabbing my trach and pulling it out. I remember the doctors and nurses rushing in the room, trying to hold me down, telling me that I was going to be OK: "Please, Mr. Borden, calm down; nobody is going to hurt you." I was screaming, "You're not going to kill me!" LOL. Well, later I found out I was not really saying much because of the tracheotomy and right there I finally came to terms that I had one in. It was really hard to swallow knowing I had to have one because I watched and remembered my father, Edward Borden; he dealt with the same thing. I later found out that I was put back into the coma, and they then pulled me out of it slow this time so they didn't have a relapse of what happened last time.
I spent seven months in New York City for recovery and rehabilitation in Yonkers. Had to learn to walk all over again. I remember my strength was so bad that when one day they wanted to put me in my wheelchair, they had to use the Hoyer lift. And when they sat me in my chair, I had no strength in my neck to hold my head up and the doctor was like, "Easy, support his head; we don't want it to break." I was like, "Wait, what?" "Oh, nothing. You're fine. We just have to watch your head because you have been in bed for so long."
My uncle Dan came and saw me a few times with his family. And one day my brother Andy and Mary Ann showed up, and I had no idea they were coming. It was so cool. But the one thing I am so grateful for is the love from everyone I got when I was in my coma. Everyone came, and I didn't know. I was out of it. They were all there for about a week but couldn't stay and had to go. But the one thing is that everyone has done so much for me, and I don't know where to begin on how to start saying thanks to everyone.
So I'm going to list everyone I want to thank in this letter, and I hope you all are reading this because you all are the ones who made a difference in my life and never gave up:
My mother, Carolyn Borden
Andy, Mike and Mark Borden
Cousins and family:
Dan and Alice
Alex, Emily and Jason
Chris and Scott Renaud
Julie and Lauren Chrisman
Marry Ann Borden
Mike Borden Jr.
Amber and Alisha
John and Jennifer and Butchino
Matthew and David Hare
Billy and Brad Corrow
James and Jeff Galusha
Chasity and Chad Foley
And my wonderful fiancee, Vanessa Cole, she is the most wonderful girlfriend anyone could ever ask for. I love you so much.
But to all my doctors: Dr. George Fielding, who did the gastric bypass surgery at New York University in New York City, thank you, sir; and Dr. Edward Hixson and Dr. Bartos, thank your for all these years of helping me and trying to keep me on the right path toward a better life.
But to anyone that I might have missed, thank you all. I will never forget you all. I will never forget your kindness and love that you put into trying to help me. Thank you all, and a happy new year to you all.
Arthur J. Borden lives in Lake Placid.